In the realm of classic battle rifles, the 8mm Mauser and the .308 Winchester, stand as iconic cartridges with rich histories. The 8mm Mauser boasts European heritage and a reputation for long-range accuracy and power, while the .308 Winchester, born in the USA, is celebrated for its adaptability and precision.

Our comparison explores their ballistics, historical significance, and real-world applications to determine which stands as the ultimate “battlefield legend” for collectors, hunters, and marksmen alike.

8mm Mauser Vs 308 Winchester – Key Differences

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The 8mm Mauser originated in Germany in the late 19th century and was used extensively in both World Wars. It is still used today by militaries worldwide, as well as by hunters and target shooters.

The .308 Winchester is a relatively recent development introduced in 1952 by Winchester Repeating Arms.

It has become one of North America’s most popular hunting cartridges and is used by law enforcement and the military. Both cartridges are famous for their accuracy, power, and reliability, but they have some critical differences. Such As.

Bullet Diameter and Dimensions

8mm Mauser:

  • Bullet Diameter: .323 inches (8mm)
  • Case Length: ~2.244 inches
  • Overall Length: ~3.294 inches

.308 Winchester:

  • Bullet Diameter: .308 inches (7.82mm)
  • Case Length: ~2.015 inches
  • Overall Length: ~2.81 inches

The 8mm Mauser employs a larger bullet diameter, while the .308 Winchester uses a smaller one. The dimensions of each cartridge’s case and overall Length differ, impacting their ballistic performance and applications.


The 8mm Mauser also known as the 7.92×57mm Mauser is a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge with a maximum case length of 57.8mm and a bullet diameter of 8.2mm. It has a maximum pressure of 56,560 psi and a maximum muzzle velocity of 3,000 ft/s with a 139 gr bullet.

The .308 Winchester is a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge with an entire case length of 62mm and a bullet diameter of .308 inches. It has a highest pressure of 62,000 psi and a maximum muzzle velocity of 3,100 ft/s with a 125 gr bullet.

The .308 Winchester is generally more accurate than the 8mm Mauser due to its higher muzzle velocity. However, the 8mm Mauser is still a very correct cartridge, and it is often used for hunting and target shooting.


While the 8mm Mauser has historical significance and remains effective within its range, the .308 Winchester’s modern design and ballistics enhance versatility.

The .308’s higher muzzle velocity, flatter trajectory, and a broader selection of bullet weights make it a preferred choice for diverse shooting applications, from hunting to long-range precision shooting. rifles


Both cartridges have been around for many years and have been used by military and civilian shooters alike. The 8mm Mauser is a larger cartridge than the 308 and has more power, making it the preferred choice for big game hunting. It is also more accurate than the 308, with a flatter circuit and less wind drift.

The 8mm Mauser has a more extended range than the 308 and can take down large game animals at distances of over 500 yards. The 308 is a smaller cartridge than the 8mm Mauser and is better suited for smaller game animals such as deer and antelope.

It is also more accurate than the 8mm Mauser, with a shorter trajectory and less wind drift.

The 308 is also more economical than the 8mm Mauser and is a good choice for recreational target shooting. Regarding performance, the 8mm Mauser is the clear winner. It has more power and range and is more accurate than the 308.

However, it is also more expensive and unsuitable for smaller game animals. The 308 is a good choice for those seeking an economical and accurate cartridge for target shooting and minor game hunting.

Barrel Life

8mm Mauser: It comes with its moderate pressures and bullet weights, which generally contribute to a longer barrel life than cartridges with higher pressures.

Rifles chambered in 8mm Mauser can often achieve thousands of rounds before experiencing significant barrel erosion. It is particularly advantageous for shooters who engage in extensive practice, hunting, or competitive shooting.

.308 Winchester: Its popularity and versatility, can have a relatively shorter barrel life than some other cartridges due to its higher pressures and somewhat higher muzzle velocities.

While it still offers respectable barrel life, especially when well-maintained and not subjected to rapid firing, shooters can expect a .308 Winchester barrel to wear out sooner than barrels of cartridges with lower pressures.

Recoil and shootability

8mm Mauser: It typically generates moderate recoil. The combination of its bullet weight and powder charge contributes to manageable recoil many shooters find comfortable, especially when fired from rifles with appropriate weight and design.

It makes the 8mm Mauser accessible to a wide range of shooters, including those sensitive to heavy recoil.

.308 Winchester: The .308 Winchester, while not known for excessive recoil, can generate slightly more felt recoil than the 8mm Mauser due to its bullet weight, muzzle velocity, and case design.

However, the recoil of the .308 Winchester is still considered mild and controllable for most shooters, mainly when used in rifles with proper stock design and recoil pads.

Shoot Ability

8mm Mauser: It offers good shootability, particularly for those who appreciate a cartridge with moderate recoil. The combination of manageable recoil and adequate power makes it suitable for various shooting applications, including hunting and target shooting.

Shooters can enjoy accurate and consistent shots without experiencing excessive discomfort.

.308 Winchester: The .308 Winchester’s shootability is often praised for its balance between power and comfort. While it might generate slightly more recoil than the 8mm Mauser, its modern design and versatility make it well-suited for a broad spectrum of shooters.

The .308’s manageable recoil allows for accurate follow-up shots and precision shooting, even for those who may not have extensive shooting experience.

8mm Mauser Vs 308 Winchester – Similarities

The 8mm Mauser is a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge initially designed in 1888 for the German Mauser rifle. It is a powerful cartridge still used in military and hunting applications today. The .308 is a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge developed in 1952 for the U.S.

military’s M14 rifle. It is a much more modern cartridge in many civilian and military applications. The two cartridges have some similarities, but they are mostly different.

Both cartridges are bottlenecked, meaning that the bullet’s diameter is smaller than the diameter of the case. The 8mm Mauser is a much older cartridge with a higher pressure rating than the .308.

The .308 is also much more popular in the civilian market than the 8mm Mauser.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Primary Differences Between The 8mm Mauser And The 308 Cartridges?

The primary difference between the 8mm Mauser and the 308 cartridges would be the size of the two. They also have different weights and bullet weights. Their velocity and maximum pressure are also different.

Let’s not forget their stopping power and the recoil is extremely different as well.

Which one is suitable for big-game hunting?

Both of them are suitable for big-game hunting. I can understand you not picking up the Mauser for big-game due to it’s price-tag and overall cost per shot. But the cartridge is good enough for hunting.

Closing Thoughts

The 8mm Mauser is a classic cartridge that has been used for decades, while the .308 is a more modern cartridge that has become increasingly popular recently.

Both cartridges offer excellent accuracy and performance and are suitable for various shooting applications. Ultimately, the choice between the two cartridges comes down to personal preference and the intended use.

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